Cue the Drama: Top Dramatic Movies Released Since 2010
If you're always on the lookout for great movies to add to your streaming queue, then you've come to the right place. Comedies are perfect when you’re in the mood for some light entertainment, but sometimes you want to dig a little deeper and tap into some real emotion or some spine-tingling suspense.
Get ready to cue the drama with our list of some of the best dramatic movies to hit the big screen in the last decade. From major blockbusters to limited release indie gems, the top Hollywood dramas offer something for everyone. Kick back, relax and let one of these exciting, compelling, fascinating films take your imagination for a spin.
The King's Speech (2010)
The King's Speech not only won the Oscar for Best Picture in 2011, but it also helped Colin Firth score an Academy Award for Best Actor. The light-hearted yet touching movie tells the story of England's King George VI (Firth), who found himself suddenly thrust onto the throne in 1936 after his brother abdicated.
Winter's Bone (2010)
If you've never seen Jennifer Lawrence in her breakthrough role as 17-year-old Ree Dolly, then this movie is a must-watch for your next movie night. Winter's Bone follows Ree deep into the Ozark mountains, where she attempts to care for her two young siblings and mentally ill, unresponsive mother.
The Social Network (2010)
With a writer like Aaron Sorkin and a director like David Fincher, The Social Network was pretty much destined to be a killer movie from the start. It spins the origin story of Mark Zuckerberg, the mind behind Facebook, as he builds a simple idea into a global phenomenon.
If you're ready to take a mind-bending road trip, then look no further than Christopher Nolan's Inception. Leonardo DiCaprio plays Dominick Cobb, a thief who has mastered the art of entering the dreams of others in order to steal their subconscious secrets.
A Separation (2011)
A Separation, which won the 2012 Oscar for Best Foreign Feature, explores the strained relationship between an upper-middle-class husband and wife in Tehran. The film is both a fascinating look at Iranian culture and a universally relatable portrait of two people attempting to untangle their shared lives.
The Help (2011)
Let's just start by saying that the performances of Viola Davis as Aibileen Clark and Octavia Spencer as Minny Jackson are enough to make this movie amazing on their own. The incredible actresses both play African-American maids in Jackson, Mississippi, during the 1960s.
The Intouchables (2011)
If you enjoyed 2017's The Upside (or even if you didn't), then be sure to check out The Intouchables, the 2011 French film that inspired it. The Intouchables swept French movie awards and went on to become one of the most successful films that France has ever produced.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (2011)
Okay, so the Harry Potter movies may not have swept the Oscars, but you're not alone if you've ever wondered why they didn’t. The books and movies may have originally targeted kids, but the Harry Potter series managed to endear itself to just as many adults around the world — maybe more.
It seems like only yesterday that Ben Affleck was a rom-com star known mostly for his relationship with Jennifer Lopez and his marriage to Jennifer Garner. By 2012, however, he had begun to build a whole new reputation as one of Hollywood's hottest directors, thanks to hits like Argo.
Frances Ha (2012)
Many young people grow up with dreams of the fame they could achieve if only they could live in New York City or Los Angeles. Frances Ha dares to show the much less glamorous reality of what it really takes to follow your dreams.
12 Years a Slave (2013)
While it's hard to imagine exactly how terrible life must have been for American slaves before abolition, the movie 12 Years a Slave paints an excruciatingly vivid portrait. Director Steve McQueen adapted the story from the memoirs of Solomon Northup, a free black man who was kidnapped and forced into slavery in 1841.
It's easy to understand the reservations of anyone who has never seen the film Gravity. The 2013 drama centers around astronaut Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock), who gets stranded alone in space. While this may not sound like a thrilling hour and a half premise, you might be surprised.
Before Midnight (2013)
In case you're unfamiliar with Before Midnight by Richard Linklater, Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy, you should know that it’s the third film in a trilogy. Beginning with Before Sunrise, Linklater introduced Jesse (Hawke) and Celine (Delpy) as a pair of lovers whose relationship is played out over time in the next two films.
At first, Spike Jonze's Her seems like a bizarre movie that revolves around a man who falls in love with smart technology. The further you get into the story, however, the more uncomfortably relevant the storyline becomes. In a generation of screen-gazers, the movie dares to ask how much further things may ultimately go.
The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)
Martin Scorsese's The Wolf of Wall Street tends to be one of those movies that most people either love or hate. It revolves around stockbroker Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio), who makes a ridiculous amount of money running schemes on Wall Street.
Short Term 12 (2013)
Writer/Director Destin Daniel Cretton takes viewers into the under-discussed world of the foster care system in his indie masterpiece Short Term 12. The movie follows the story of Grace (Brie Larson), a counselor at a foster facility for at-risk children and teens.
If you're a fan of psychological thrillers, then Prisoners is a hard movie to beat. Hugh Jackman plays Keller Dover, a father whose daughter goes missing, resulting in a police investigation by Detective Loki (Jake Gyllenhaal). Unfortunately, the trail soon goes cold after the lone suspect can't be held due to a lack of evidence.
If you're tired of movies that rely on flashy special effects and explosions, then check out Whiplash. You won’t see any of the usual Hollywood theatrics in the 2014 gem. It’s a simple story, driven almost entirely by character and plotline.
Boyhood is not just a movie — it’s a true feat in the world of filmmaking. Director Richard Linklater produced the daring project by casting actor Ellar Coltrane to play the lead character, Mason, from the ages of 6 to 18. Rather than use make-up or special effects, he actually shot scenes with the same actor each year for 12 years straight.
Inside Out (2015)
While Inside Out is a kid's movie, it's a surprisingly intellectual one. The plot revolves around an 11-year-old girl named Riley whose existence is thrown for a loop when she's forced to move across the country with her parents. Her emotions are depicted as fun little Pixar creatures known as Joy, Sadness, Anger, Fear and Disgust.
Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)
Believed by many to be one of the best action movies of all time, Mad Max: Fury Road features Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron on an adrenaline-fueled adventure. Set in a post-apocalyptic world, the move follows Max as he sets out to save a group of women called "the wives," who have been selected for use as breeders.
If you're looking to go deep, then Moonlight is one of those films that's worth the tears it's sure to make you cry. Director Barry Jenkins tells the story of Chiron (Trevante Rhodes, Ashton Sanders and Alex Hibbert), an abused black man who struggles to come of age in the midst of harsh surroundings.
Get Out (2017)
While many horror movies are all about gore and cheap thrills, Jordan Peele's Get Out takes the genre in a whole new direction entirely. Using a thoughtful yet chilling premise, the film follows a young black man (Daniel Kaluuya) to the home of his girlfriend's (Allison Williams) parents.
Phantom Thread (2017)
If you're into period pieces, then Paul Thomas Anderson's Phantom Thread is the movie for you. Daniel Day-Lewis stars as Reynolds Woodcock, a British fashion icon in 1950s London. Woodcock has become content to spend his days dressing movie stars and upper-class socialites until he meets a woman named Alma.
Lady Bird (2017)
While coming-of-age movies are nothing new in the world of film, Lady Bird brings a sense of realism and depth that many similar stories miss. The film is a portrait of an eccentric 17-year-old girl named Christine McPherson (Saoirse Ronan) who, for whatever reason, insists on being called Lady Bird.
Call Me by Your Name (2017)
Luca Guadagnino’s Call Me by Your Name tells the coming of age story of a 17-year-old boy (Timothée Chalamet) who finds himself enchanted by an older grad student (Armie Hammer). Part of the film's beauty comes from its sparkling Italian countryside setting, which gives the story a sort of nostalgic, daydream-like quality.
While there are plenty of great fiction movies out there, there's nothing quite like a true story as incredible as the one that inspired Spike Lee's BlacKkKlansman. It follows the 1970’s adventures of an African-American detective named Ron Stallworth (John David Washington) who sets out to infiltrate and expose the Ku Klux Klan.
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018)
Although Hollywood had already produced several versions of Spider-Man, 2018's Into the Spider-Verse convinced us that there was room for even more. The film drew on the talents of more than 140 animators to achieve a movie with a true comic book feel.
Sometimes, it may seem like there's another Marvel or DC movie coming out every time you turn around, but Joker isn't just your average origin story. Yes, it takes place in Gotham City, but not the overly stylized comic book version you may be expecting to see.
The Irishman (2019)
When it comes to mobster movies, Martin Scorsese has firmly established himself as king. The Irishman is the most recent addition to his cinematic legacy, and it features the performances of legendary actors like Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Joe Pesci.